VIDEO: KUOW Unearths (And Performs!) Seattle's Official Song

Jun 24, 2014

Newscaster Lisa Brooks and announcer Guy Nelson perform "Seattle, The Peerless City" in KUOW's performance studio.
Newscaster Lisa Brooks and announcer Guy Nelson perform "Seattle, The Peerless City" in KUOW's performance studio.
Credit KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

KUOW reporter Deborah Wang was researching the Seattle city charter a few weeks ago when she found the lyrics of the official city song. She found words, but no sheet music.

The song, "Seattle, The Peerless City," was approved in 1909 by the City Council. It has been performed since then, most notably at City Hall in 2011 with new music. The singers, an acapella group from Yale that included the son of City Attorney Pete Holmes, improvised the melody because they couldn’t find the original score.

Well, with the help of librarian Tracy Wolfe, we found it — in archives of the Seattle Public Library. Newscaster Lisa Brooks and announcer Guy Nelson rehearsed and came up with a contemporary lyric. 

“Seattle the Peerless City" goes like this: